Kwara state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has approved the staging of a State Festival for early next year, to discover more talented young athletes from the nooks and crannies of the state.
Governor AbdulRazaq dropped the hint at the closing ceremony of the 6th National Youth Games yesterday, at the University of Ilorin.
The sports-loving Governor commended the state’s athletes for doing the state proud at the Games, adding that more efforts would be intensified to invest more in youth and sports development, through encouragement and participation.
Kwarai came sixth at the National Youth Games, with 10 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals, the best record so far in the history of the state’s participation in the multi-sports event.
Kwara Sports Festival was last held in 2019, after 15 years of no action.
Meanwhile, Team Delta has emerged champions of the sixth edition of the National Youth Games, after garnering 60 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze medals.
Team Lagos finished a distant second after picking 19 gold 26 silver and 28 bronze medals while Team Edo placed third after collecting 18 gold 10 silver and 11 bronze medals.
The Minister for Youths and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare described the performance of the athletes as the sign of better things to come in Nigeria sports sector, asserting that the future was bright.
Chief Dare, while thanking the states for their sustained investment in sports called on the states not to relent as their investments have continued to pay off with most of the athletes discovered at the Games in the past becoming the mainstay of Nigeria representatives in international events.
He however warned against age cheats, saying that the Ministry will henceforth institute scientific methods to check such occurrences in the forthcoming Games.
Chief Dare said the Ministry will commence the use of MRI technology to ensure that age cheat was curbed, while stressing that any athlete caught as an age cheat in subsequent editions will be handed bans while states involved will be sanctioned.
The Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin Professor Age Abdulkareem represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Mikhail Buhari thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity to host the rest of Nigeria saying they are willing to continue hosting the Games as it has helped in improving the sporting facilities in the institution.
Professor Abdulkareem however, appealed to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development to fulfil it’s promise of building an Olympic sized swimming pool in the institution among other facilities saying the institution had become the home of sports among it’s peers.